Though Canada still considers immigration as a key to economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, barriers still, however, remain between newcomers and job opportunities, as many newcomers do not have the required employment services that most employers need.
Newcomers entering the job market may be faced with credential recognition problems. Language or cultural barriers may affect new immigrants’ confidence or their ability to communicate effectively with their employers and colleagues. They may also face discrimination.
“Despite the need for newcomers there are still some employers who have a bit of a bias towards Canadian-born worker,” said Tim Lang, president of Toronto’s Youth Employment Services (YES).
YES is one of several employment centers in Toronto that assist unemployed and underemployed newcomers to obtain jobs in their field. They work with other employers across city centers to help them understand the benefits of hiring immigrants.
“New immigrants bring a whole set of new ideas and experiences that can really benefit [a] company,” Lang said. “And although they may be learning English or French language, they can get over those minor barriers with time and become very productive long-lasting employees that help the company grow.”
Many Canadians already see the benefits of immigration, even during the period of the pandemic. Immigrants fill gaps in the labor market and are a major source of population growth in Canada.
So, it is crucial that immigrants have the same access to jobs in order to guarantee their long-term success, and in turn, Canada’s long-term success.
The Ontario Human Rights Council approved this in 2013 and created the Policy on Removing the “Canadian experience” barrier, which shows the human rights issues stemmed from unequal access to employment opportunities based on foreign experience. It also offers a list of best practices for Canadian employers.
In terms of what new immigrants can do to enhance their own job-search outcomes, Lang says the first step is to “adapt to what Canadian employers expect.”
What DO do Employers expect in Canada?
Have a Canadian-style resume
The government of Canada webpage outlines a comprehensive list of the “do’s and don’ts” of resume writing.
To summarize: keep resumes clear and to the point. Ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors and keep the page count down to two pages. Quantify achievements by using firm numbers that employers will understand. Always write your resume in the third person, so do not use “I,” “my,” or “me.”
Include basic contact information such as phone number and email, but never attach a photo, or include personal information such as age, marital status, or religious beliefs. Never include Social Insurance Numbers on the Curriculum Vitae, as that should be reserved for after the job has been secured.
And finally— your information must be genuine. Never lie on a resume.
Prepare to address credential recognition in the interview
Some employers want to know job applicants’ education levels in terms that they are familiar with.
If acquiring a Canadian education is not an option during their job-search, applicants’ job foreign education can get a credential evaluation.
They can then use the result to show employers the Canadian equivalent of the diploma, certificate, or degree, that they obtained abroad.
These are only a few general ideas to help newcomers start hunting for jobs. For more details on getting jobs in Toronto, Lang says people abroad can take advantage of YES’s free online workshops for resume writing job interviews and among other things, however, immigrants would need to be in Toronto in order to get help with job placement.